The regime feels it has the local political arena in Venezuela under control, after holding its AN elections on 6D and finding itself in the face of a divided opposition, where it also did its job to help make this happen. The control is due primarily to repression and the enormous effort that the population must devote to perform basic acts to survive. It still keeps pressure on the opposition and often to distract attention. The Venezuelan regime is now focusing its greatest energy towards the international arena. In this week’s +58 Report we cover “The interest and effort of the regime is international”, “The rebirth of the opposition” and the conclusions of the publication “Between stabilization and the threat of a dissolving state”. 

The interest and effort of the regime is international

For the regime the most important work at this time is in the international world:

  • The country’s mini-economy of 20% of what was Venezuela exists because of the effort, investment, and risk assumed by the private sector. For this to happen, the regime was forced to relax controls and allow the circulation of other currencies. Its strategy is based on providing the minimum necessary to its public, which represents only 15% of the population, the rest counts or matters very little.
  • The number of regime allies has increased and Mexico and Argentina are now important. But of special relevance is the Sánchez government in Spain, where they work in the shadows undermining support for the Guaidó strategy and paving the way for a negotiation with the convenient opposition.
  • The regime is preparing to negotiate and a key element is the appointment of Jorge Rodríguez as President of the AN, who is already being promoted internationally as the representative of a power with the capacity and independence to open other political spaces. They have even managed to get the international press to report on his approach and expectations with the Biden Administration. Of course, here you are competing with the rest of the world trying to guess and guide the direction of that new government.
  • In parallel to its typical anti-imperialistic statements, it tries to improve its international image. An example is the media noise associated with the shipment of oxygen concentrating machines to Brazil, on a trip of more than a thousand kilometers, in a country without gasoline and when the machines are required in Venezuela. 

The rebirth of the opposition

It is in a very bad moment, similar to what happened after surrendering the AN in 2005 and failing with the enormous efforts of the demonstrations in 2014 and 2017, where the latter served to unmask the regime in front of the Western world. However it can be stated that:

  • There is rejection to the regime in the population and to the situation where people live very badly and the repression makes them keep quiet.
  • The regime is counting with an economic takeoff, which it will hardly achieve. It needs resources and investments in significant quantities, for this it requires international acceptance and to create the appropriate conditions it would have to risk an opening with the unacceptable possibility of losing power.
  • The opposition has rallied before and will do so again. Of course, for this to happen, it will have to redefine itself and achieve credibility with the general population to generate the needed internal pressure. Like the Phoenix it will rise again from its ashes.
  • International support is being redefined and awaits internal adjustments from the opposition. Of course, it will additionally depend on the approach taken by the Biden administration. In both cases, there is a logical waiting time.

Between stabilization and the threat of a dissolving state

These are the summarized conclusions of an excellent study published in January 2021 by The Risk Awareness Council:

  • The Chavista regime is a narco-terrorist tyranny organized in networks. It is a reticular and dynamic assemblage that operates in a delicate binary balance of checks and balances of its command structures.
  • It is a regime that uses criminal activity as a means to sustain power and is deeply influenced by unequal firepower or asymmetric models of conflict.
  • The resources that the network manages are dedicated to maintaining power. It has divided the territory by giving it in loan to criminal organizations that exploit it in a synergistic dynamic with tyranny.
  • This cooperative scheme highlights the value of occupation and territorial control for political-criminal enterprises, which generate a self-sustaining ecosystem for all parties.
  • The criminal tyranny has made Venezuela an unviable nation:  unable to satisfy the minimum conditions of human security for its inhabitants. Today the country is a space where transnational criminal organizations and terrorist groups converge that have integrated their operations with the political-military command of the Chavista regime, partners for international crime.
  • The multiple attempts, both domestic and international, to resolve the Venezuelan crisis have been truncated due, on the one hand, to the compartmentalization of power within the regime itself, and on the other, to the lack of strategic clarity of the dominant sector of the opposition and its various allies in the world.
  • The situation in Venezuela has reached a point where the priority is to stop the population from suffering, but for this to happen it is essential to first remove and root out the criminal structure that holds power. Seeking a positive change in the living conditions of the inhabitants, and keeping some of the leaders of these networks in command, is not a sustainable solution.
  • The dilemma for the international community is not whether or not its active and decisive participation is required in addressing the crisis, it is about what kind of resolution will have to occur to stop the humanitarian drama, internal violence and regional threat that represents the Venezuelan criminal tyranny.